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Questionnaire on Daily Life of Children in Japan II Introduction

This report is an analysis of a February 2000 questionnaire given to 3,270 parents and guardians of children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years 11 months who reside in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, Toyama and Oita. This report also provides important data indicating changes that have taken place over a five-year period since a similar report was compiled of parents and guardians of children the same age in February 1995.

Chapter One is an overview of children's lives. It analyzes the changes that have taken place over a 5-year period in basic lifestyle: sleep and meal times and outdoor activities as well as educational lessons, television and video watching and play. Chapter Two analyzes the mothers' attitudes toward work and child rearing and related stress. Chapter Three analyzes the fathers' roles in mental/moral as well as physical support in child rearing. Chapter Four focuses on child rearing assistance. It analyzes the actual circumstances of childcare facilities and what mothers would like, places where mothers can go for advice and mothers' wishes regarding these facilities, kindergarten and nursery school.

Chapters Two through Four is mainly based on new data in the current report only. As a result, there is little corresponding data from 5 years ago that can be used for comparison.

With a decline in the birth rate, an increase in nuclear families, and more women in the labor force, the environment of children has changed rapidly. In this environment, child rearing and parental attitudes have become social issues. In the midst of these various changes, what is the real situation? Based on changes over the past 5 years, this report attempts to grasp the actual circumstances of children's lives.

September, 2000
Benesse Educational Research Center
Questionnaire on the Daily Life of Children Project Team
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